905-525-9140, ext 24151

McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) Room 210


Mandate of the Ombuds

The mandate of the Ombuds Office is to ensure that all students, staff, and faculty are treated in a fair and equitable manner within the institution. To this end, the Office provides independent, impartial and confidential dispute-resolution advice and assistance on University-related issues to all members of the McMaster community, promotes discussion of institution-wide concerns, and makes recommendations for systemic changes as appropriate. Through their continued support for the Ombuds Office, McMaster University and the McMaster Students Union have demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all those enjoying learning and working at McMaster.

  • Why is there a University Ombuds office?

    McMaster University is committed to the just, fair and equitable treatment of every member of the University community. In keeping with this commitment, the University joined with the McMaster Students union in 1998 to support the development of a jointly-funded Ombuds office.

    What does the University Ombuds do?

    The Ombuds acts as a source of general information and referral, assists in the resolution of individual complaints, and may conduct investigations and make systemic recommendations as appropriate. In order to fulfill this mandate, the Ombuds has broad access to all members of the University community and to all information and records as required. The Ombuds is a non-voting member of several committees, contributes to the development of policies and procedures, and participates in educational initiatives on fair decision-making.

  • What type of academic issues does the Ombuds handle?

    Students might visit the office with academic concerns, such as those involving; appeals or petitions, examinations, academic dishonesty or research misconduct, withdrawals or reinstatements, course rules or management, a supervisor or instructor.

    What type of Faculty and Staff issues does the Ombuds handle?

    Faculty of Staff might visit the office with:
    • issues involving students
    • process and policy questions
    • interpersonal conflicts
    • quality of service
    • disciplinary issues
    • working conditions

  • What type of non-academic issues does the Ombuds handle?

    Students might visit the office with non-academic concerns, such as those involving; behavioural or professional codes of conduct, on-campus employment, residence life, financial matters, clubs and associations, quality of service.

    How can the Ombuds help me?

    The Ombuds is available to assist in the resolution of a University-related complaints and concerns, especially those that have not been addressed through the usual channels. The Ombuds can:
    • explain University policies and procedures and how they affect you
    • objectively review your situation
    • help to develop options
    • assist you in pursuing a resolution
    The Ombuds is not a decision-maker, however, after determining the facts of a situation, they may make a recommendation to remedy the situation.